On Tuesday morning in Circuit Court Lermon Russell, 41, of Weston, signed a plea agreement, which was pleading guilty to felony malicious wounding, which would drop his other two charges of destruction of property and fleeing while Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Last February Russell was arrested after allegedly attacking his female companion, attempting to flee and crashing a vehicle into the 7-Eleven store located on East Third Street.
Russell was originally charged with malicious assault, destruction of property and fleeing while DUI by Weston police officers.
According to the criminal complaint filed last February officers were dispatched to the 7-Eleven to an active domestic situation.
“The female had multiple abrasions to her facial area and appeared to have several facial fractures,” according to Patrolman D. Lothes’ complaint.
The female victim was transported to Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital and then later to Ruby Memorial as a result of the injuries sustained.
Russell though only facing one charge now of malicious wounding still will pay restitution, court costs and court appointed attorney fees. Lewis County Prosecutor Christine Flanigan said that restitution will cost between $30,000 and $40,000.
Russell requested a pre-sentancing investigation be conducted. Judge Reger said that depending on the results of the investigation, although Russell is pleading guilty to malicious wounding, he could spend two to 10 years in the penitentiary.
Reger also confirmed with the Russell that he understood recidivism clause, which means that if he is convicted of another felony, he can be charged with a longer sentence due to this prior guilty conviction, if found guilty.
Judge Reger asked Russell to explain why and what he did last February to make him enter into this guilty plea.
“While intoxicated I was involved in a relationship problem and made a decision to strike out against my significant other at the time. I made a bad decision while drunk and wrecked her car. I regret these decisions,” answered Russell.
Flanigan said that the victim’s face was swollen almost immediately after the attack and her eye injury could not be treated right away due to swelling. She also stated the victim had multiple surgeries and extensive followup visits with doctors.
Russell will be returned to Tygart Valley Regional Jail to await results of the pre-sentencing investigation, which will be completed by May 24.